The ETSU softball team hosted the Chattanooga Lady Mocs on March 29 at Betty Basler Field for a double header. The Lady Bucs were defeated, 5-4, in game two.
The Bucs did not take advantage of the first game in Sunday’s doubleheader, as they fell short, 5-2, against their Southern Conference opponent.
“The recent problem has been mostly mental, we just can’t quite find a way to pull out the win,” said head coach Brad Irwin.
“We’ve had multiple games where we have made errors or mistakes and the other team is final at bat …. So, that’s cost us. I think it’s a mental thing we’re trying to get through as far as being able to close out ball games.”
The first inning went back and forth as neither team scored before the inning was over.
In the second inning, ETSU took stand and scored the first runs of the game. Freshman Cassi Pickett waited on third base and teammate Kelsey Smith (freshman) waited on second.
Sophomore Brooke Baxter pitch ran for Smith. Junior Emillie Hensley stepped up to the plate and completed a single to right field sending teammates Baxter and Pickett home.
The third inning was scoreless.
The first home run of the game came in the fourth inning as Smith smacked the ball down left field giving the Bucs a 3-0 lead.
UTC began to turn the game around in the fifth inning as they got their first runs on the board.
In the first play of the inning Sam Taylor (junior) doubled to left center.
Immediately after, teammate Nicole Osterman (senior) doubled to right center, allowing Taylor to score. Following this score, teammate Criket Blanco (junior) grounded out to third base, and Osterman capitalized and scored.
Due to a single up the middle by ETSU junior Bethany Cowart the Bucs answered back with a score from Latosha Rectenwald (senior).
Chattanooga took control in the sixth inning. Following Senior Marina Wilkerson’s single to second base, there was a throwing error on third base that resulted in Taylor advancing to third and a throwing error by right field causing Wilkerson to advance home.
Shortly after, Jenny Garcia (junior) doubled to left field sending Taylor home.
The seventh inning was the inning one couldn’t take their eyes off, because of the intensity. The team that is leading in score at the end of this inning will be the winner.
Chattanooga started off the seventh inning with a score from senior Courtney Ervin.
ETSU was up to bat next with a chance to tie or pass UTC.
ETSU was unable to get any runs or hits, resulting in UTC taking the second win of the day in a final score of 5-4.
Kelsey Smith came in the game leading the Southern Conference in home runs per game (0.33) and RBI per game (1.13).
Smith had a great performance as she also added a home run to her nine total home runs for the season, currently leading ETSU.
“I think it’s good to get back out there and have a chance to continue playing and see if we can overcome some of our issues,” said Head Coach Brad Irwin.
“We’re always looking for a chance to get back out on the field and compete before we go into this next conference series this weekend. The mindset is to continue to battle and compete, and see if we can’t pull out a win.”